Yolanda to be retired as typhoon name (and other trivia)

The regular names start with every letter of the alphabet except for the letter X. The first storm in a calendar year that enters the PAR is given a name that starts with the letter A – in this year's case, Auring.

Every storm thereafter is assigned the next name on the current set's list. For the following calendar year, PAGASA uses the next set of regular names and returns to the letter A – in 2014's case, Agaton.

The auxiliary names are arranged alphabetically from A to J, and used only when all regular names have been exhausted within a calendar year.

This year, since Zoraida has been used for the tropical depression that entered the PAR shortly after Yolanda, the next weather disturbance will be named Alamid, the first name in the auxiliary list.

International names

A weather disturbance also obtains an international storm name from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) once it reaches tropical storm strength (pegged at 63 km/h) and develops in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean (between 180° and 100°E longitude to the north of the equator).

Asked why the Philippines has its own naming system apart from JMA's, Pura of PAGASA explained that the weather bureau also gives names to tropical depressions, which have maximum winds speeds below 63 km/h  not enough for JMA to give it an international name.

Giving a local name to an incoming weather disturbance, whether it is weak or strong, also serves as a "signal" for Filipinos to prepare for it, Pura said.

There are 140 names in the JMA list, with 10 coming from each of the 14-member nations of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)/World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Typhoon Committee: Cambodia, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Micronesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam.

Unlike the PAGASA naming system, JMA's exhausts all 140 names, grouped into 10 subsets, before recycling the list. Each ESCAP/WMO member-nation submitted one name per subset. JMA's naming system has no auxiliary list. (READ: 'Haiyan,' 3 others removed from int'l typhoon names list)

The next Philippine-submitted name on the JMA list is Hagibis, followed by Hagupit, Molave, Lupit, Malakas, Talas, Talim, Maliksi, Cimaron and Danas. – Rappler.com

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Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.